Hi, I'm Shawnna

I create graphics and design resources for bloggers, crafters and biz owners; providing a fun girly style for your brand or products, with a design-it-yourself approach for easy access and affordability.

When I'm not designing I'll be out walking the dogs, binging on Netflix or curled up with a good book.

join me for freebies - discounts - member only offers

Affilate Programs for Creatives

Affiliate Programs for creatives by Lovelytocu

Gaining extra income from affiliate links is a perfect way to harness the earning potential of your blog or website. And when it comes to affiliate earnings you often don't even need a blog or website, you can just use social media or Pinterest for your affiliate links making it easier than ever to earn extra income as an affiliate marketer.

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If you are brand new to the affiliate world here are a few keywords you'll need to know:

Advertiser = a company looking to advertise their products or services by paying affiliates to promote for them through blogs, email or social media

Publisher = the affiliate, who publishes links promoting the advertiser

Network = an affiliate service provider who connects advertisers and publishers together and manages the link tracking and payouts to affiliates

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Anyone can apply to become an affiliate but there are a few tips you should keep in mind in order to have success at getting approved for the programs you want:

1. For network programs, ensure your profile is fully filled out and up to date
2. Make sure your website is live and looking good
3. You're applying to relevant advertisers based on the content of your website
4. If you don't have a website, the same above applies to your social media links
5. Be honest about how you intend to promote the advertiser and include all details in your application
6. Make sure you know the terms and conditions for each advertiser!

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The following roundup of affiliate programs is tailored specifically to those artsy craftsy oriented audiences with this list will giving you some awesome options to promote on your blog and hopefully it will save you some time tracking down the perfect affiliate programs for you.

Network Markets

These companies offer a wide selection of advertisers to choose from. You need to apply and qualify for each advertiser, and some application reviews can take a while, but once you're all set up you can start promoting right away.

Awin - This is the service that Etsy uses for its affiliate program. In order to be approved your site cannot be exclusively dedicated to promoting Etsy and they don't allow any social media linking.

You'll also find advertisers like Wordery, Casetify, and Moleskin.

Rakuten - You'll find advertisers like Udemy, Trollbeads, Artists Network, The Quilting Company, Creative Gallery, Create and Craft, along with many more.

Share-A-Sale - There loads of interesting advertisers here, with various book and magazine companies, Christian specific advertisers along with suppliers like Erin Condren, Stampington & Co, Cricut, Blurb, Creative Live, and Craftsy.

Other network markets you could look into that have art, craft or design related advertisers are Flex Offers, Commission Junction, ClickBank, Amazon, eBay, and Commission Factory. These may or may not suit your needs but are definitely worth checking out.




Direct Affiliates

These are programs that you sign up for directly with the company, rather than going through a network. In general, I've found it easier to be approved and get paid via this route.

Society 6 - Sells home decor and accessories featuring the artwork of independent artists who sell their creations on various products for a commission. Refers to its affiliates as curators.

Creative Market - A digital goods marketplace targeted more to professional designers but with a wide range of products including; photos, fonts, graphics, patterns, and templates.

The Hungry Jpeg - A digital goods marketplace geared more to the crafter/maker with beautiful graphics, fonts, and patterns available.

Design Bundles / Font Bundles - Another digital goods marketplace for graphics, fonts, patterns, templates and loads of free content as well.

Craft Bundles - A digital market specifically for crafters with cutting machines.

Elegant Themes - A popular Wordpress template site with beautiful designs.

DigiDesignResort - A small digital scrapbooking site with kits and tutorials.

Scrapbook.com - Scrapbooking and craft supplies and classes.

You Are an Artist - Video art lessons specifically for chalk pastels.

Artists Edge - Artist's marketing and business academy with classes and coaching services.

Rex Art - Fine art supply store with a broad range of products for any type of fine artist.

Alisha Gratehouse - Flourish books and art courses.

Shutterstock - Microstock site with photos and illustrations often used by commercial clients but also used by professional bloggers or web designers.

Designmodo - Offers products and services geared towards the professional web developer.

17th Avenue Designs - Premade Wordpress and Blogger themes as well as custom design services.

Design by Bloom - Pre-made Wordpress themes with custom design service for web and logo.

Angie Makes - Pre-made blog templates, blog kits, and graphics.

Beautiful Dawn Designs - Pre-made Wordpress templates and online course The Blogging Blueprint.





Ebook Affiliates

These makers/creators/writers offer affiliate earnings on their course or ebook material which is perfect if you have an audience looking to learn how to do something.

Writers Helper - Get Your Writing Fighting Fit - join through the network Clickbank

Incredible Edible Crafts - How to make candy bouquets for fun and profit! - join through the network Clickbank

Made Urban - Make More Money at Craft Fairs - direct affiliate by setting up an account at Gumroad

Silhouette School - The Ultimate Silhouette Guide - direct affiliate by setting up an account at e-Junkie


Know of any more affiliate programs that should be on my list? Add them in a comment and I'll check them out!


Happy earnings!
Shawnna



Royalty Free Stock Images

*This page contains affiliate links to products or services that I personally recommend. If you purchase something from this page, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you.

Creating Color Palettes

20 Color Inspiration Sites for creating color palettes by Lovelytocu

Creating the perfect color palette from scratch can be an exhausting and time consuming process, not to mention bouts of indecision on selecting just the right shade to work with.

Thankfully there are an abundance of color tools and inspiration sites out there to choose from to cover every aspect of building the perfect palette for your project.

Here are my top favs:

1. Designs Seeds - undoubtedly one of the most well known color palette blogs out there and a perennially favorite

2. Color Me Curious - a color palette blog, grid style, with some interesting search features

3. Color Hunt - scroll endlessly through a variety of palettes, or get them straight to your inbox daily

4. BrandColors - this site offers the color palettes of a variety of popular brands

5. LOL Colors - a fun site with a small selection of color palette inspiration

6. Colorful Gradients - an interesting Tumblr blog with playful color inspiration

7. ColorDrop - a simple color palette site, easy to use and navigate

8. Coolers - super fast and fun color palette generator

9. Paletton - a color palette generator with loads of options for choosing just the right shades

10. Cohesive Colors - this palette generator uses an overlay color to help unify your palette tones

11. Color Thief - drag in a photo, get a palette instantly

12. Hello Color - find great contrast options between two colors

13. Adobe Color CC - color palette wheel and tools to help you create your own palette

14. Name that Color - need to name your colors? this site offers up names for every hex code imaginable

15. Color Explorer - a toolbox of options to create, manage and evaluate palettes

16. Hex Color Tool - color palette inspiration and generator tool

17. Color Palette Generator - a photo tool from Canva, upload any image to get your palette

18. Pinterest Color Palette Board - for inspiration, one of my favourite color palette boards

19. Photocopa - a photo color palette generator used by designers, it gives you more than just one palette from your source image and the ability to tailor it very specifically

20. ColorMunki - a palette tool that lets you use Pantone swatches to manually build your palette


Happy Designing!
Shawnna


Stuff I'm lovin' this week:

Printables in PowerPoint

Creating party printables in Powerpoint by Lovelytocu


This tutorial will walk you through the creation of a party printable banner using one of my handy templates. It's quick and easy to do using PowerPoint. I've chosen to show this in PP simply because so many of my customers only have access to or knowledge of Microsoft software and PP has some really handy image editing tools.

In order to get started you will need a window cutout banner template and a digital paper background.

Before we begin I have a little note regarding PowerPoint versions: I'm using Office 360 for Mac.

Your version of PP may look a tiny bit different and menu options or icons may be arranged in a different order, but every version of PP has most of the same features so don't panic if you can't find the button I point to here. Simply do a Google search for that action specifically for your PP version.

As you go through the tutorial if you need to see a zoomed in view of the images just click them and they'll open in a new window in larger size!

Let's begin.

Step 1 - Open PP with a blank document. It should like my example below.

Step 2 - Before we can start designing we need to get our page setup correctly. Go to the Design tab and click the Slide Size button.

Step 3 - You'll get a drop down menu, chose Page Setup.

Step 4 - In the Page Setup dialogue box chose your paper size and select portrait orientation as indicated in the illustration below. Click OK and your page canvas should change as desired.

Be mindful of your actual page size when doing this, I found my PP version to be a bit off when I selected Letter Size and had to adjust the dimensions in cm in the dialogue box. Spending that extra moment to ensure the page is setup right saves some frustration later!

Tips: If you want to work with a different paper size simply choose your dimensions in the same way. If you want to keep landscape instead of changing to portrait don't click anything in the orientation section.



Step 5 - One final thing remains to prepare your canvas ready for designing. Clear all the default placeholder elements on the page.

To do this just click on the bounding box and press delete. You should end up wth a completely blank page.

Step 6 - We're going to begin our design by adding a background. Right click on the canvas and choose Format Background from the popup menu.


Step 7 - I want to add a pattern background for my tutorial example but feel free to play around with the options presented in the Format Background menu.

I've highlighted which options I chose to get the background as displayed. The Insert picture from File button allowed me to choose my own background image which I then adjusted until I was happy with it.

The Scale X and Scale Y need to be equal or your background design with be distorted. You can size down as much as you want but scaling up with cause blurriness or pixelation.

Step 8 - Once you are happy with your background (you can always make adjustments later) it's time to add your template. Go to the Picture button and select Picture from File. In the popup box select your template from wherever it has been saved on your computer.

Tips: I like to prepare for the design process by putting the files I'll need right on my desktop so they are easy to find and I don't accidentally select the wrong one while designing.


Step 9 - Your template should open up exactly fitting to your page. If it doesn't you CAN adjust it it to fit, just bear in mind that you may be changing or distorting the sizing, so if you are designing something that needs specific dimensions don't resize the template.

And just like that you have a banner shape all ready to add your design to!

Step 10 - We're going to create a simple letter banner. So the first thing I want to do now is put a white circle inside my template.

On the Home tab go to Shapes. When you click this button a menu panel opens with a whole bunch of shape options.

Select circle and then drag your cursor across the template while holding down the shift key to draw a perfect circle. For a less perfect circle don't use the shift key.


Step 11 - Once your circle is drawn you can resize or move it into place exactly you want. Click on a corner to resize, always holding the shift key as you do to keep it a perfect circle. Click the bounding box to select it for moving.

Step 12 - Obviously we don't want a blue circle, so make sure the circle is selected and click on the shape fill tool to change the color.

Step 13 - Do the same again for the stroke. I changed both here to white.

Tips: There are a lot of options that you can choose from in this menu including gradients or even adding a picture or pattern in your shape. So many design possibilities!


Step 14 - Next up I'm going to add a letter inside the circle. I'll do this by fist selecting the Text tool and drawing a box on the page. You'll see a cursor inside the text box, just type a letter (or word) and then highlight it ready to edit as desired.

Using the text edit options I changed the font to something I liked and then set the size. The default size choices in the drop down menu weren't large enough so I just typed my own size in the font size box, playing around with it until I was happy (click inside the box, deleting the number that is there, type your own number and press enter).

Of course I also needed to change the color and I wanted a specific shade to match the background. In the More Colors option you can click an eyedropper tool that allows you to sample any color on the canvas. I did that to get the darker shade of pink from the polka dots. Super easy and takes no time at all to do.


Step 15 - Things are looking pretty good and I could stop here if I wanted to. But I think I want to add a final touch to my circle shape. I'll add an outline inside the main circle.

First I need to select the circle and copy it, then paste it so I have two circles. You can do this from the main Edit menu as shown. Just copy and then paste. Now you have two circles.

Step 16 - To edit the second circle I go back to the Shape Outline button and change the weight and color of the stroke, using the pink tone from my letter.


Step 17 - As with the first circle I resize it and move it into place until I'm happy with the result. Just one problem, the second circle is sitting over top of my letter B so we need to fix that.

Find the Arrange button and from the menu options choose Send Backward (do not use Send to Back as this sends the layer to the very back underneath everything else). We just want to send this shape back one step.

Step 18 - Our design is done and looking good. Use this opportunity to test print the design to make sure everything looks and works exactly as you want.

Maybe it turns out you want to move the circles and letter down a bit. Just select each layer by clicking each one while holding the shift key down. Then you can move everything together.

Once you are absolutely happy with the design you can duplicate the page for each additional letter that you need and be able to print in one go.

To do that click the page preview in the left pane to select it. Right above that is a little page icon, as noted on the illustration below. Click this and you have the option to Duplicate the page. A second page is created exactly as the first and all you have to do is change the letter (or any other elements).

Keep going until you have everything you need. Then just print and cut!



And that's it. A super easy to do banner for your party.

Use these same instructions for any other type of party printable. Explore the menu options for the different editing functions and get creative. PowerPoint has lots of editing options and once you get the feel for how things work it's pretty easy to navigate.

If you ever get stuck trying to figure something out, just do a quick Google search for the function you are trying to use, there are millions of quick Powerpoint instructions online and it is so much faster to look it up than looking through all the menus for that hidden button you need.

If this tutorial was helpful let me know! I'd love to hear about your projects.


Happy crafting,
Shawnna





Manage Windows 7 Files

How to manage zip files in Windows 7 + how to open and work with image files

Hi!  This quick tutorial is aimed at Microsoft users of Windows 7 and up who are struggling to understand and work with Zip folders and how to properly manage those files or even open documents held within a zipped folder.

In particular, it's the answer to many of the issues my customers face when trying to download and use my template files. Faced with several file types that all seemingly behave differently it's often a struggle for the uninitiated to understand what to do with each type of document in their zip folder.

If you are not an advanced user your frustration levels might be overwhelming you with what should be a really simple task... I get it! So let's take a deep breath and dive in.

I'm going to assume that you have downloaded a zipped folder from the internet and that it is now sitting in the Downloads folder on your computer. So let's start from there.

Open your Windows Explorer pane and navigate to your Download folder, it should look like the image below:


1. The Downloads folder


Now at this point you could open the folder and see the contents, but notice that this file is in a Zipped state. Even though you CAN access the contents of the folder at this point, you may run into some limitations on what you can do with those files. So we want to unzip or Extract the folder and create a regular folder that isn't zipped.

On my version of Windows 7 I just need to double click the zipped folder and a pop up box appears with various available options, one of which is to Extract the folder. If double clicking the folder doesn't do this on your PC, try right clicking the folder and looking for an option to Extract in the menu box that appears.


2. Press Extract


Once you press the Extract button you should get another dialog box offering you the choice of where to save the new extracted folder (not pictured). You can choose to put this folder wherever you like, but for now we're just going to leave it in the Downloads folder.


3. The Extracted Folder


Very quickly a new duplicate folder should appear in your Downloads. Both of these files are identical except for one thing; one folder is zipped and one isn't. At this point I personally choose to delete the zipped version as it is no longer required and keeping both takes up more space on my hard drive.

Either way you'll only want to access the contents of the unzipped folder to actually work with.


4. The Folder Contents


This is what the inside of a typical file folder looks like from my templates collection. As you can see there's a lot in here. I include page sizing for American and European users, so if it's easier for you, just delete the versions that don't apply to you.

There are also a few versions of the template depending on what sort of software you plan on using to design with. In this tutorial we're just looking at Microsoft software so we'll only be focussing on the .PNG image files. PNG files are compatible with just about any software program and they work exactly the way photos do. The difference here is that these images have transparent sections that create a 'template'.


5. Opening the Files


It's so tempting now to just click on any of the files to open it them. Don't you think? In many cases this is absolutely the thing to do. But you first need to pay attention the file type that you are clicking on so that you know what to expect next.

For example, if there was a Word doc in this file (it would end in .docx) double clicking the file name would automatically open it in Word. Easy peasy. Try double clicking my .psd file when you don't have Photoshop installed and that file is not going to open. You'll likely get a pop up window asking you to select a program to open it with, you might get an error message, but no matter what you try, if you don't have Photoshop that file is simply not going to open.

Images work a little different. They are not files in the same way a Word doc is. Image files don't have a specific software that they open in. They work in just about any software so the default setting on every PC is to open image files in Windows Photo Viewer. Just like the example above.

There's nothing wrong with that. But you have to understand that Windows Photo Viewer doesn't do much. It really just lets you VIEW the image. You are not going to able to edit the image here or do much of anything else. All you are doing is viewing the image.

So, if you wish to get started working with your template (or any other image file) you will have to work in the most appropriate software for the job at hand.


6. Opening Image files



If your Photo Viewer has a menu option like the one pictured above you can choose your preferred program right here and the image file will open up in that software program. And just like that you're ready to start editing your file!

If for some reason you don't have this option, or your preferred software program isn't listed, you'll need to manually open that program and use its navigation commands to open the image file. This process will vary depending on the software.


7. Opening a file in Word


You can only add an image in Word by using the Insert commands, as pictured. You will want to select Picture from File to add something stored in a folder on your PC. A dialogue box will appear and you can navigate to where your image file is stored. As in my example above that might be your Downloads folder (you'll need to know where your image file is stored). You just select the file you want to open in Word and it will place that image on your page in Word. And you can begin editing from there.


That's the end of the tutorial on managing zip folders and their contents. I hope you better understand how to navigate the folder pane in Microsoft and how to open various file types.


Happy crafting!
Shawnna




Printing Printables



Ever run into problems printing out some awesome free printable you found on Pinterest? Or maybe you purchased some gorgeous party printables on Etsy but they turned out a mess on your home printer?

Well I'm here to tell you that you are not alone! Even seasoned pros will run into frustrations with print quality or printing mess-ups. The real trick is in knowing what to do when these things happen. How do you solve your printing problem without a flood of tears or chucking your printer out the window?

Take a deep breath... here's what you need to know...


TOP TIPS FOR SOLVING PRINTER DILEMMAS

1.  Choose the right printer for the job.

Here's the truth, not all printers can handle any job. So if your printer isn't up to it, nothing else you do will get your print job to look perfect. Understanding and accepting this will save you a big headache.

Rule of thumb, inkjet printers are great for text documents and photos while laser jet printers work better for graphics and large color blocks. Because inkjet printers are generally cheaper, this is what most people tend to have at home, and they work just fine for most home applications. But you might struggle when printing certain types of graphics.

Solution: Who do you know who has a laser printer? Is there a printing service near you that you could use instead? If you need to print semi regularly it could be worth researching alternative options before investing in a brand new printer. Either a local option or an online option, whichever works best for you.

2. Know your printer.

This is something that the average printer owner never really does. Explore the printer dialogue box and get to know every possible setting option that you have available to you.

Does that sound daunting? This doesn't need to take long but it will save you sooooo much agro later if you understand that there ARE different setting options for your printer. Just get to know what your printer is capable of with a quick review, make a few cheat sheet notes if you need to, and when you go to print something double check that your print settings are correct for the job.

I'll be honest, off the top of my head I don't know all of my own printer setting options. But I do know that it has a variety of options available and I'll check through these when I go to print anything other than a document just to be sure I'm making the most of what my printer can do.

These are things like paper size and weight. Paper tray selection (specialty paper often feeds better from the manual tray). And ink or layout settings.

3.  Printing the correct size.

One of the most common print issues that I come across all the time are printables not coming out at the right size. This is actually quite simple to correct once you know what to look for.

Most printers will try to optimize your printed page for you through automatic settings. If your print job is too close to the paper edge it will automatically scale the print smaller. If it's really small on the page it might make it bigger.

But when you need your printable to print at an exact size as it's intended to be these default 'helpful' settings are really not that helpful at all!

Each printer will have this in the print dialogue box a little differently but you'll want to look for a setting that says "print actual size" or "print at 100%".  You want to select this option and make sure that any box that says "scale to fit" is UNchecked. That's it.

4.  Printing colors.

This is such a common complaint. And not restricted to the home printer or novice crafter!

The cold hard truth is colors look different from one device to another and when applied on different surfaces. Computers are backlit and with retina or 4K display colors will appear more vibrant than they will do on paper.

And even amongst print surfaces colors will look different on one surface type from another. Matte paper for example absorbs more ink that glossy paper, so the colors are going to brighter or more saturated on the glossier surface.

Each printer will also print a little differently. A little too much yellow and your blue is heading towards green, a little too much magenta and that same blue is sitting on the purple side of the fence. These tiny little differences in how each printer mixes the inks can create unexpected variances.

So what's the solution? Test printing.

If you have very specific requirements for color the best option is to test print everything first. Know that you'll need to experiment, make adjustments or try a different printer and you won't be nearly as frustrated. It's just a matter of accepting that color isn't consistent across all mediums.


Shawnna





Image File Types

Understanding Image File Types and how to use them, by Lovelytocu.ca


When you purchase art work online, whether for your website or blog, a digital craft project or to print out and use as a physical element it is handy to know and understand the file types that are being offered with your purchase.

The following is a list of the most common image file types and design file types offered with a digital art work purchase:


Common Image Types

JPEG - this is the default file format for photographs and is ideal for any image file with complex color gradients. JPG does not support transparency and if repeatedly edited and saved will be degraded in quality each time.

TIFF - used mainly in professional photography printing this file type is not widely supported by web browsers.  

PNG - used specifically for clip art as this file type offers transparency enabling images to be easily layered into design work.  Well supported by web browsers PNG files are lossless and often provide a sharper web image for illustrations containing simple color blocks than JPEG versions.  

SVG - there is a lot more to this file type than I will describe here, but the basics are that this image file is scalable, meaning you can resize without any resolution loss.  this is a popular file type for use with cutting machines like Cricut (but typically SVG files are not layered documents)


Old School File Types

GIF - this file type has been around for a long while, suitable only for illustration images with few collars and simple design.  It allows animation with a low file size perfect for web applications.

BMP - created originally for Windows (think MS Paint) this file type doesn't support transparency but does provide nice sharp graphics.  Unfortunately the file size for BMP does not make them useful for web so they remain a print only file format when used.


Image as Document File

PDF - a file format that is used to present and share documents containing text or graphics independent of software, hardware or operating system. this offers a reliable way to present printable art work or design files. PDF files can be either fixed or editable depending on how they are designed and set up.


Software Specific Files

AI - Adobe Illustrator software files which can only be opened in software programs compatible with this file extension

PSD - Adobe Photoshop software files which can only be opened in software programs compatible with this file extension

EPS - typically created by Adobe Illustrator, the advantage of an EPS version is that it can be opened in other software programs aside from Adobe. however depending on which software you have used to open it with you may only be able to access the image preview.


Shawnna




Royalty Free Stock Images

How to Install Fonts

How to install fonts on your computer and where to find free fonts by Lovelytocu

When you purchase a computer there will already be a selection of fonts installed on that machine. However, while these included fonts are always tried and tested classics you may eventually have the need for something with a bit more flair.
Installing new fonts to your computer is super easy and something that you needn’t be daunted by.

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Here are the steps for PC Desktop and Laptops:
  1. first download your new font file folder, this will most likely be a zip file
  2. unzip the font folder
  3. right click on the font file and select install
  4. that’s it, all done
For Mac users:
  1. same as above, download and unzip the font folder
  2. double click the font file and press install
  3. done
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While the process for downloading and installing fonts is easy-peasy, there are a few extra details about font files that you may care to know about.

Font files can come in 2 formats: .OTF (open type) or .TTF (true type)  So what are the differences?

It’s all about what kind of extra detail is included within the design of the font and the explanation gets a bit complicated, so as a beginner all you really need to know is that both file types work on either Mac or PC, and regardless of which format you’re given, it will work on your machine.

Different fonts you download will have one or the other file type in the folder and sometimes you will receive both options together. OTF files usually come with extra or alternate lettering options (something you might choose to learn about later) so otherwise just stick to the TTF file when there's a choice. But know that either way, you’ll be fine!

Another thing to look out for and know... some purchased fonts will come with a choice of ‘desktop’ fonts and ‘web’ fonts. Always install the desktop font file. The web font version is specifically for web designers.

Have errors during installation? Ensure you are clicking on the extracted font file (not the still zipped up folder file) or that you have administrator privileges on your machine.

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Font terms of use: as with any artwork you download from the internet, fonts will have terms of use associated with them.  Many free fonts are for personal use only.  Some will allow commercial use with a donation and many fonts require the purchase of the font if you wish to use it commercially.

Always respect the creator's terms of use.  Artists work hard to earn a living and their generosity should not be taken advantage of. Plus you might get into trouble later.

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WHERE TO FIND FREE FONTS

DaFont - this popular site has a big collection of fonts and while a good many are for personal use only you can find some that allow commercial use

1001FreeFonts - a site very similar to above, both sharing a lot of the same fonts

FontSquirrel - a site that offers links to free fonts, all of which are available for commercial use

PremiumFreeFonts - the free section offered by FontBundles.net has an ever-changing selection of free fonts with a commercial use license, it's worthwhile to sign up for their newsletter as you will grow your font collection in no time at all

TheHungryJPEG - a site with way more than just fonts, they have a free section and weekly freebies include many fabulous fonts, all with a commercial use license

Creative Market - this site is a designers marketplace and they offer up free resources every week with at least 1 or 2 fonts each week, again with a commercial use license

Do you have a favorite place to source free fonts?  Share in the comments!

Shawnna


A Few Favorites:

How to Unzip Files


So, what is a .zip folder anyway?  A ZIP file is basically a digital folder containing any number of documents or images that has been compressed into a format that is accepted for upload / download across the internet. (that’s the short version)

All of my own graphics are provided as digital downloads that come zipped up in a ZIP file and so I’m often asked by first-timers or infrequent users on how to best go about opening such a file.

Hence this little tutorial!

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If you’ve never come across a .zip file before and you’re not particularly techie minded it can be a little frustrating to deal with depending on which computer operating system you have and how downloads are automatically handled on your computer.  And of course mobile devices offer a whole separate challenge!

All of the solutions provided here use the default software already included within your operating system, no need for special programs or purchased software, with the exception of mobile devices.

DESKTOP or LAPTOP COMPUTERS

Windows 7 and 10
- Right-click on the Zip file and choose “Extract All”
- Choose a location for the folder to be extracted into
- Keep the "Show extracted files when complete",unchecked
- Click on "Extract" button to start the extraction
- This folder is now your working copy of the Zip file
- You may keep the Zip file or delete it

Windows XP and Vista
- Double click on the zip folder
- In the window that opens, click on the “Extract all Files” link
- The “Extraction Wizard” will open, click “Next”
- Choose a destination for your unzipped folder
- Click “Finish” to complete the process
- This folder is now your working copy of the Zip file
- You may keep the Zip file or delete it

Mac
- double click on the zip file
- job done

Special Note: Where you download a zip file to on your computer can affect the ability to extract correctly or fully access the unzipped version.  Always make sure that you are downloading zip files to either a dedicated downloads folder, your main documents folder or directly to your desktop.  You may then move the folders to other locations as needed.  Some of my customers have had issues in particular with Microsoft Live Photo Gallery being the default location for ALL downloads.  This won’t work for .zip files!

MOBILE DEVICES

For mobile devices you will need to install an appropriate app in order to  download and open .zip files.

iOS
Winzip is a free app and comes highly recommended by experts

- Once the app is installed you will have an option to “Open in Winzip”
- This will reveal the contents of the zipped folder
- Click “Open In” to choose where you wish to extract the zip folder contents to
- You should now be able to access the files in their new location
- Note that you won’t be able to open a file type if you do not have a corresponding app to, but all image files will open in the camera roll or photos app

Android
ZArchiver is a free app and comes highly recommended by experts

- Open ZArchiver and use the file manager to find the zip folder
- Click on the file when you find it
- Use the View option to see the files in the zip folder
- If needed you can extract a single file or extract all
- once extracted the files will be in your main folder for full access


Shawnna



E-courses for Bloggers

Learn to blog like a pro, 12 e-courses recommended for bloggers from Lovelytocu


Taking your blog from beginner to advanced while creating an income from your efforts may require you to wear many different hats. Possibly a few you've never worn before.

Learning new skills or becoming an expert at anything is usually a life-long process, so if you're feeling a little overwhelmed in your blogging journey then you're in good company... I totally feel your pain!

I have to admit, I'm a super big fan of self-learning. It takes a bit of discipline but being able to learn at your own pace from home (or the beach) is my favorite way to be an eternal student.

That's why I've put together this list, my own top 12 choices of e-courses recommended for bloggers or small biz owners.

Even better is that as I write this list there is a sale over at Udemy for $10 per course. If you miss out on it though just keep your courses bookmarked as they have sales all the time!


Here's my top 12 list of courses (in no particular order) perfect for aspiring bloggers:

1.  Wordpress for Beginners - Master Wordpress Quickly

2.  Graphic Design Masterclass: Learn Graphic Design in Projects

3.  Canva Graphics Design for Entrepreneurs - Design 11 Projects

4.  Get 1000 Visitors to Your Blog Using on Page SEO

5.  Blogging Bundle: Start a Blog + Optimize It + Monetize It

6.  Wordpress Easy Step by Step: From Beginner to Intermediate

7.  Build Your Brand: Blogging, SEO, Social Media & Relationships

8.  Blog Traffic Tactics: Create A Huge Following in 9 Steps

9.  Social Media Marketing 2017 - Complete Certificate Course

10. Master Planning: Plan Your Day, Week, Month, Quarter & Year

11. Branding: How to Brand Yourself and Your Business

12. Affiliate Marketing Mastery 2017 - How to Create Profit Fast



Shawnna


*This page may contain affiliate links to products or services that I personally recommend. If you purchase something from this page, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you.

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